For this project, I will be examining the progression of my research on the partisan movements of the Baltic States through three of my essays. These three works, noted here from oldest to newest, are as follows: “Empowerment Against Adversity: The Obstruction of Lithuanian Women’s Identities, 1940-1953,” “Morale in the Forests: Nationalism and the Baltic Anti-Soviet Partisan Movement Proposal,” and “The Conflicting Sources of Morale for the Baltic Anti-Soviet Partisans.” Over the past several years, my research has shifted in many ways, from topic changes to the amount of words that can be found in a single sentence. This change is best illustrated through Voyant Tools where significant changes in my research can be seen through text analysis.
In this graph, several prominent changes in my research and writing can be seen. While my first major research essay “Empowerment Against Adversity” remains my longest work, it also has the lowest word density and the fewest words per sentence. Comparing this to my two most recent research projects, “Morale in the Forests” and “The Conflicting Sources of Morale” shows that these works have far higher word density and more words per sentence.
This graph can also determine a shift in my research focuses by highlighting the distinct words seen in each paper. For “Empowerment Against Adversity” the distinct words that appear include “men,” “Jews,” “Lithuanian,” “Jewish,” and “November.” This research was heavily centered around gender relations and the roles women held in the various partisan movements within Lithuania. These three partisan movements include the anti-Soviets, the Soviets, and the Jewish partisans who suffered under both Hitler and Stalin.
Over time my research has shifted to focusing more on the anti-Soviet partisans, which is shown through the graph above. The most distinct and telling words highlighted from “Morale in the Forests” are “database” and “primary.” “Morale in the Forests” deals more heavily with primary source databases than either of my other papers have. For “The Conflicting Sources of Morale,” which is a literature review, “Taagepera,” “Misiunas,” and “Laar” have all been highlighted. These are the names of major researchers who have studied morale among the anti-Soviets and thus were listed in my research on what those in the field have said in regards to the topic.
In my essay, “Empowerment Against Adversity,” I asserted the claim that women held prominent roles in all three partisan movements within Lithuania and have been forgotten and side-lined by historians. The time period I researched was 1940-1953, which was a tumultuous thirteen years in Lithuania’s history due to being conquered a total of three separate times.
After being taken over by Nazi Germany in June 1941, Lithuania experienced the Holocaust which gave birth to the Jewish resistance that often formed within the ghettos erected by the Nazis. Shortly thereafter came the rise of the Soviet partisans who sought to reclaim Lithuanian lands for the USSR. Finally, the anti-Soviet movement fully formed in 1944 when the Soviet Union reconquered Lithuania, only falling with the death of Stalin in 1953.
The above graph shows the word count for some of my most used words in my essay, “Empowerment Against Adversity.” Among some of the commonly used words are “Jewish,” “Litvaks,” “Holocaust,” and “Nazis.” These words were important to the research I was doing at the time and are unique to this essay because they were a distinct aspect of the Jewish partisan resistance. Since I have taken a more focused approach to my research, these words rarely appear in my recent writings.
My essay, “Morale in the Forests,” claims that the Baltic anti-Soviet partisans fostered morale through nationalism that was promoted in their camps and bunkers. This heightened nationalism spawned from partisans trading stories of suffering, songs, and shaping their own identities by discussing what it meant to be a partisan.
Words highlighted from this essay include “forest,” “KGB,” “brothers,” and “Cold War.” Due to this research being primarily focused on the anti-Soviet partisan movement as opposed to all three active partisan movements in the ’40s, “forest” and “brothers” are combined to be the Forest Brothers – the name the anti-Soviets often went by.
With this research, the “KGB” and “Cold War” are especially important given the effects they had on the partisans. The KGB acted as the enemy of the anti-Soviets – deporting their families to Siberia and getting into firefights with the partisans. The Cold War plays a much looser role in the partisan movement, but news of tensions between the United States and the USSR helped to boost the morale of partisans who thought the U.S. was coming to help them.
My literature review, “The Conflicting Sources of Morale,” discusses what current research says about the anti-Soviets and where their morale was drawn from. Though there has been little research on this topic, most historians claim that the Forest Brothers’ morale was boosted by news of heightened tensions between the former Allied Powers and the hope that a third world war was coming.
Among the words highlighted, there are many names of researchers, such as “Vardys,” “Taagepera,” “Misiunas,” “Balkelis,” “Laar,” and “Budrytė.” Since this essay is a literature review and frequently compares the research of various historians, this shows the nature of the essay itself.
As shown in the graph above, the main four words seen across all three essays are “women,” “Lithuanian,” “Lithuania,” and “partisan.” The most drastic shift over time has been my lack of use of the word “women.”
Though I am still interested in women’s history and their representation in research, my recent research has shifted more to the anti-Soviet partisans and their camp life – something women were seldom included in.
The word “Lithuanian” has experienced a downfall in my recent works as well. While “Empowerment Against Adversity” focused solely on the Lithuanian people, both of my two most recent research essays have focused on the Baltic States as a whole.
“Lithuania” has not experienced much of a decline due to the nation’s prominence among the anti-Soviets. While Estonia and Latvia struggled to form a unified resistance against the Soviets, Lithuania successfully accomplished this feat in 1946. Due to this fact, the country itself remains a constant topic in my research.
Finally, “partisan” is seen having an incline before declining in my most recent work. While partisans are a part of “The Conflicting Sources of Morale,” this research takes more of a focus on the arguments other researchers have presented in regards to morale.
In this graph, a shift is seen in my style of writing where I go from shorter paragraphs to longer, wordier ones.
Here, “Empowerment Against Adversity” is seen with the fewest words per sentence. Though it is not visible through the graph, this essay was comprised of shorter paragraphs.
“Morale in the Forest” is shown as having more words per sentences as my paragraphs began to grow in length, keeping the same topic in the same paragraph. Finally, this trend concludes with “The Conflicting Sources of Morale,” which has the most words per sentence.
This stylistic change highlights the evolution of my writing in research and the differences in writing preferences from my previous university and Mary Washington.
In conclusion, the changes in my research and writing styles are traceable through text analysis. From the changes in the topics of my research to stylistic differences, the graphs created through Voyant Tools help to show my progress as a writer and as a researcher. By showing the words most often seen in my research and counting the average amount of words per sentence, I have a better idea on how my writing has changed over the years.